Share the Experience of Afghan Migrants through New Artistic Program
In what will be the first major artistic engagement with the Afghan and Persian communities of Blacktown, Blacktown Arts presents Daneha, a multi-faceted artistic program made up of a visual arts exhibition, artist talks, musical performances and theatre.
Daneha (“Seeds” in English) explores the displacement of the Afghan community across the globe, and the cultivation of roots in foreign, unfamiliar soil. The program will transform The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre into a multi-functional space for community to engage with contemporary artists, as collaborators, audiences and active participants in reimagining identities.
‘The Afghan community of Blacktown has grown by almost 40% since 2011,’ said Blacktown City Mayor Stephen Bali MP. ‘Daneha is the first major artistic engagement with our Afghan and Persian communities. I am proud that our arts centre is presenting a diverse program that offers unique opportunities to reflect on the experiences of migrants and refugees, and explore the challenges they face when settling in a new land.’
The program launches on Thursday 5 July with a visual arts exhibition featuring new works by Avan Anwar (Melbourne), Elyas Alavi (Adelaide), Zainab Haidariy (Germany), Gerrie Mifsud (Sydney) and internationally acclaimed and Blacktown-based artist Khadim Ali. Khadim is an established artist who was awarded the NSW Government’s 2016 Western Sydney Arts Fellowship worth $50,000 and his work is held in numerous public collections around the world. The arts exhibition will feature works by members of the local group Afghan Women on the Move.
“Afghan Women on the Move creates a radically safe platform for women as survivors of war and trauma, to gather and participate in arts and cultural programs, outside of religious and political influences,” said Maryam Zahid, the group’s coordinator.